By Mike Badilla
Jackboot and Ironheel has been an awesome WWII sci-fi series so far. In case you've missed the first three issues, a quick recap: Eddie Neale was set to be a famous footballer in England when he was drafted into the Royal Air Force and sent to fight against the Germans. His plane was shot down, he was captured and taken to Lungotz Luftzig prison. In the prison, there are strange happenings including hauntings and inexplicable deaths of the guards! Some of the nuns have befriended Eddie, as well as one of the guards, which was bad news for young Sister Evangeline, as she was caught helping Eddie and shot by one of the guards. We left off with her dying in Eddie's arms...
Two of the guards are carrying Evangeline out of Eddie's cell. They are discussing how she didn't deserve it, and are too distracted to see Eddie secretly snatch one of their pistols and hide it in his jacket. Eddie is pretty mad about what happened to Evangeline, as he kind of loved her, and kicks his football (which he was given by Gunther, the friendly younger guard). He kicks it and kicks it around the room as hard as he can, the ball bouncing off of different walls until it hits one of the large stones in the wall, revealing it to be a hidden switch! Eddie pushes the switch further and a staircase is revealed from under the floor. The ball goes bouncing down the stairs, Eddie following closely, until they both arrive in a flooded underground cavern. Eddie wades through the water, eventually swimming, until he reaches the other side and discovers a huge underground cave.
Frozen beneath some ice, Eddie sees an object. He chips away the ice using his stolen pistol and it is revealed that he's found an ancient hammer and some writing. He picks up the heavy hammer and in doing so releases a trigger that floods the cavern, sweeping him away to the belltower. He peers up at the bell, then down at his hammer. He knows what to do. He races up the stairs toward the bell, but not before one of the walls of the tower explodes from the shot of a tiger tank! He races higher and is greeted at the top by a walking dead asking for the hammer, which Eddie strikes in the head, launching it.
We are shown an outside shot of the scene and find out why the tank was shooting; the giant creature from earlier episodes is standing next to the tower! It roars into the openings near the top of the tower nearest the bell, and Eddie starts whaling on the bell with the hammer. He falls, dropping the hammer, and grabs a hanging chain, saving himself from plummeting to the bottom of the tower. Another shot from the cannon and Eddie falls, luckily not from too high up, and is only stunned. The creature is destroying the tower and nearly upon him when the Nazis start firing at the creature with the tank and their rifles, distracting it from Eddie.
Suddenly a pretty gross vaginal-looking orifice opens on the creature and the head of the prison is lowered out, tentacles bursting from him in all different places. He begs for death, and Eddie hands him the stolen pistol, telling him theres only one shot left. The Nazi laughs and shoots Eddie in the leg. Eddie limps over and grabs the hammer and makes his way up the chain to the bell, which is now hovering above the lake by its self. The lake starts to rumble and glow and Eddie strikes the bell with the hammer, only a second before being impaled by the moster. The lake opened up and sucked in the beast and Eddie.
Whew. From what I take of this issue, this is the end of this story. This was a good one! I thoroughly enjoyed it. Here's the short take: art was good and consistent from beginning to end. Story was great and added more and more through each issue to make me want to come back and see what happened. Ending, albeit sudden, was good and satisfying overall. Hopefully this comes out as a trade, I know I'll pick it up.
Jackboot and Ironheel #4
Writer/Artist: Max Millgate
Publisher: IDW Publishing